Showing posts with label walnut. Show all posts
Showing posts with label walnut. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to make a Chocolate-Espresso Brownie Affogato and Happy Book News from Cleo Coyle

In Italian, affogato means drowned. 

In a cafe, an affogato is a that coffee-lovers wouldn't mind drowning in!

If you order an affogato, a small bowl (or cup) of gelato or ice cream will be brought to you with a shot of fresh espresso beside it. 

To complete the affogato, you simply pour the hot espresso over the ice cream, drowning it in the earthy warmth of the coffee. This combination of sweet cream and dark heat is the heart of the dessert's appeal (at least to coffee-lovers...and Italians :)).

What I described is a basic affogato, but there are more elaborate variations. 

For example, celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis once made a gingerbread affogato. She infused a simple syrup with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; and then poured the syrup over the ice cream with the espresso.

More common variations include a shot of liqueur served beside the shot of espresso (such as amaretto or Frangelico). Today, I'm sharing my "Coffeehouse" version, served over a base of warm-from-the-oven Chocolate-Espresso Brownies.

I'm also celebrating some happy news about my newly released Coffeehouse Mystery A Brew to a Kill. More on that news at the end of this post. 

First, let's get cooking! 

~ Cleo 

Cleo Coyle, a former Brownie
(and Girl Scout), is author
author of The Coffeehouse
Cleo's Coffeehouse
Espresso Brownie Affogato

Warm brownies out of the oven are a little piece of heaven. Over the years, I've baked up plenty of pans from scratch and shared recipes with you. For example:

Aphrodisiac Brownies, from Murder by Mocha, (click here to see that recipe) and... 

Black Bean Brownies from A Brew to a Kill (click here to see that one).

Today, I'm sharing a quick-and-easy espresso brownie that you can whip up with a boxed mix. Why a mix? For those of you who don't bake much, this is an easy and foolproof way to bake a pan of brownies. Where did the recipe come from? Twenty years ago, brownie mixes had one flavor: chocolate. Being a coffee geek, I threw together this recipe, which infuses the earthy flavor of my favorite bean into the crumb. 

This recipe is adaptable to practically any boxed brownie mix. While you can now buy mocha brownie mixes, I find adding these fresh ingredients to a basic chocolate fudge mix produces better tasting espresso brownies. So give it a try and (as always) I sincerely hope you with joy! ~ Cleo 

To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.


1 Box of Chocolate Brownie Mix (for a 9 x 13-inch pan)

1/4 cup espresso or strongly brewed coffee

1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder (*see my note at end of recipe)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

TO MAKE THE BROWNIES: Pour the dry brownie mix into a large bowl. Do not add water as directed on the package. Instead, pour the espresso or strongly brewed coffee into a cup and dissolve the espresso powder into it. Add the vanilla and pour this mixture into the large bowl with the dry brownie mix. The brownie mix directions will likely ask you to add 2 or 3 eggs (2 for fudge-like brownies, 3 for cake-like). Make your choice and add the eggs. Add the oil required (usually 1/2 cup). Stir as directed, 50 strokes, do not over-mix but be sure to scrape down the bowl and blend in any visible dry mix into the wet batter. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips and (if you like) chopped nuts. Pour into a pan that's been lightly coated with non-stick spray or greased with butter. Bake as directed on the package and cut into squares. 

*A note on espresso powder: Espresso powder is not ground up espresso beans. It is made from freeze-dried espresso. It dissolves in water to create instant espresso. While I don't recommend drinking espresso made from freeze-dried powder, I highly recommend using good quality espresso powder (rather than freeze-dried instant coffee) to add coffee flavor to your baking and cooking. Look for espresso powder in the instant coffee section of your grocery store. Or click here to see brands that you can purchase online.

TO MAKE THE AFFOGATO: Place two warm brownies in a small bowl or one brownie in a coffee cup. Add a scoop of ice cream or gelato. Serve this with a shot of hot espresso or strongly brewed coffee. One shot = 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of liquid (or 2 to 3 tablespoons). The general rule for an affogato is one shot of coffee per scoop of ice cream. To finish, pour the hot coffee over the cold ice cream and warm brownie and...

Eat (and read) with joy! 
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

Sweet News!

After a year on sale in
hardcover and e-book,
 A Brew to a Kill
is now an official
bestseller in paperback!

"A foodie's delight...And a
satisfyingly rich mystery."
~ Kirkus Reviews

A Brew to a Kill
#3 bestseller
in paperback mysteries
at B&N nationwide!

We also made B&N's Top-20*
(in store) bestsellers list for all
mass market paperbacks sold,

 *B&N Store Bestselllers
Aug. 20, 2013

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Week: Pomegranate, Olive & Walnut Salad

LUCY BURDETTE: I'd eaten a Pomegranate, Olive & Walnut Salad once at my sister's house and I thought a version of it would be perfect for the holidays. It has that red and green color scheme in spades.

Pomegranates are hot weather fruits that come as large reddish spheres. Once you cut the tops off and slice them in half, the little seeds (resembling red corn kernels) are visible. I'd never made anything with this fruit before so the process was interesting. I ended up scraping the seeds out with (well-washed) fingers. You don't want to get the pulp in your salad, as it has a bitter taste like a grapefruit rind. On the plus side, this fruit is full of antioxidants and vitamin C and has a lovely sweet taste. Be careful about what you're wearing as the red juice splashes out everywhere while you scrape seeds.

Because I had one lime left on our little tree that needed a special home, I made the vinaigrette with lime juice and good quality olive oil. (This is Tonka, watching me harvest the lime.) Taste it to see what you think you need--I added about 1/2 tsp of salt and the same amount of sugar. I think you could also do fine with balsamic vinegar and maybe a tsp of grainy mustard instead of the lime.

The whole salad is INTENSE with a lot of strong flavors, so I chose to serve it on a bed of mesclun greens. The mixture I found had a lot of pea shoots in it, which were lovely.

Ingredients (serves 10 to 12)

2 pomegranates
1 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped (I used stuffed green)
1 bunch cilantro, cleaned and chopped

2-3 scallions, cleaned, chopped (white and pale green parts)
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
4 tsp lime juice
3 T olive oil
Sea salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
5 oz Mesclun or other nice greens

Cut off top of the pomegranates, cut in half, and pull apart.  Remove seeds and discard skin.  Place seeds in a bowl and add olives, cilantro, shallots and walnuts.  

Whisk together remaining ingredients to create dressing,  Pour dressing over salad, toss and serve on a bed of baby lettuce.  

Now back to Christmas shopping...don't forget that culinary mysteries are the perfect size for stocking stuffers:)...

 You can learn more about Lucy Burdette and her Key West food critic mysteries at her website or on Facebook or Twitter